Friday morning Reno 1868 FC wrapped up its final training session before the first match of the season. The team will kick its season off with a thrilling playoff rematch against Orange County SC at home on Saturday.
The last time the boys in blue stepped on the pitch to play an official USL Championship match, they were knocked out of the USL Cup Playoffs by the very team they are scheduled to face on Saturday. A heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Orange County SC on Oct. 28 put an end to Reno’s successful second season after the club made history by making it to the Western Conference Semifinals.
“They knocked us out of playoffs last year, so we are kind of going into that game with a chip on our shoulders,” forward Danny Musovski said Friday. “They’re a good team, we’re a good team and we have returned a lot of good players so it should be a good game.”
Reno has over 10 players returning from the historical 2018 season, one of them being midfielder Seth Casiple, who is back for his third season with the club. The returning core group provides a genuine camaraderie both on and off the pitch.
“It really makes the preseason kind of get going really quickly,” Casiple said Friday. “We felt like we kind of jelled from the start because we know who’s coming in and we know all the idiosyncrasies between each other, so it adds to that confidence.”
Reno had an extensive preseason that was different than the years before. The team had three weeks of double-days in February and participated in five preseason matches/scrimmages.
“It’s been good, some really good results. One result that I don’t think we played well in but we learned a lot from it, which was critical,” Head Coach Ian Russell said Friday. “I think the best thing about our preseason has been like I said the one bad result that we had, we learned a lot from it and we have corrected those issues.”
Saturday’s match kicks-off at 1:45 p.m. at Greater Nevada field and the first 1,868 fans will receive a koozie schedule at the gates. Tickets can be bought at Reno1868FC.com or at the Greater Nevada Field ticket office.
The match will also be aired on ESPN+ and Nevada Sports Network (NSN). In Northern Nevada, NSN is available over the air on channel 21; Charter channel 787 in HD or 7 in SD; DirecTV and Dish Network on channel 21; or on AT&T U-verse channel 1021 in HD or 21 in SD.